Common Drainage Problems

Croft Drainage specialise in drainage problems across Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.

Whether you have septic tank problems, cesspit problems or drainage field issues, and are based in Lincolnshire or Nottinghamshire, the experts at Croft Drainage should be your first call.

The first sign you may have a problem can range from a flooded garden, or other land drainage problems to strange smells and difficulty flushing the toilet. These are often symptoms of a more serious problem. They include:

  • Slowly draining sinks, toilets and baths, often accompanied by gurgling sounds
  • Covers on the drains or chambers lifting
  • Emptying your tank too often
  • Sewage backing up at the inlet to the sewage treatment plant or aerobic septic tank
  • Sewage smells in the vicinity of the plant or tank (different to the ‘normal’ smells around the plant)
  • Land in the area is wet, soft or waterlogged (compared to how it normally is)
  • Grey and cloudy final effluent. This means you can see it discharging after the septic tank or sewage treatment plant
  • Pollution plume and fungi in the water course near the plant discharge point (where applicable)
  • Noise that is different to what you normally hear – applies to sewage treatment plants

If you are having any of the above problems, please contact us for an informal discussion. We provide drainage solutions in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. This really helpful guide from British Water might help with understanding the code of practice for wasterwater treatment systems. 

Typical septic tank problems

Most common septic tank drainage problems and failures are due to the drainage field and not to the septic tank itself. There is one thing certain about a septic tank drainage field, it will at some stage fail. How quickly the septic tank drainage field fails depends on several factors. Including: maintenance, the nature of the soil, the height of the winter water table, frequency of heavy rain and the deterioration of the septic tank itself.

Common Septic Tank Problems include:

  • Blockages causing flooding within the system, including roots blocking pipes
  • Structural damage leading to leakage. Due to damage by roots from nearby trees, large shrubs, ground subsidence or from vehicles
  • Excess water volume entering the tank. This overloads the system and can lead to flooding and land pollution. Rainwater from roofs, paved, tarmacked or concreted areas should not pass through a septic tank system. These flows should be directed elsewhere
  • Lack of maintenance can cause a build-up of sludge within the septic tank. Which can then cause the drainage field to fail as solids pass through the system without settling out in the septic tank
  • Incorrectly sized septic tanks not treating the waste correctly.  This leads to sewage (including the solids) being short circuited into the drainage field where they cause blockages
  • Collapsed baffles, which help prevent the solid waste leaving the main tank.  Which can result in floating waste moving into the drainage field pipework
  • Damaged Dip Pipes, commonly caused when tank is being emptied.  Which can leads to drainage field failures
  • Excessive volumes of chemicals or detergents added to the septic tank. These affect bacteria and enzymes in a tank.
Septic Tank Problems in Lincolnshire | Croft Drainage

Concrete septic tank damaged during building works

If you are experiencing septic tank problems, please contact us for an informal discussion. We cover Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.

 Common Cesspit problems

The following are common problems associated with cesspits:

  • Flooding due to tank damage caused by tree roots, ground movement or vehicles
  • Roof Collapses (Cesspits tend to cover large areas)
  • Structural problems. As tanks age they start to deteriorate (especially older brick built tanks). This can result in leaks and pollution of the surrounding areas
  • Lack of maintenance. Tanks not emptied often enough leading to flooding and siltation with the tank and drainage field
  • Bad Practise – in some cases the tanks are ‘modified’ to allow them to drain out into a watercourse. This leads to pollution and associated issues such as smells

If you are experiencing problems, please contact us for an informal discussion.

Typical drainage field problems

Problems commonly found with drainage fields include:

  • The water table in the surrounding soils becomes too high. This means the effluent will go straight into the water table without being correctly treated first
  • If the septic tank fails, raw effluent can start to flow into the drainage field which causes it to fail, ultimately resulting in failure of the whole system. Damaged dip pipes often cause drainage field problems
  • If the drainage field is in an area of clay based soil, the water will not be able to pass out of the system and into the soil.  Usually indicates a percolation test did not take place
  • An increased volume of waste entering the drainage field and septic tank.  For example, rainwater runoff connected to the system. This can have a detrimental effect on the whole system, as they are only designed to cope with a specific volume per day.  Overloading can result in waste clogging the drainage field
  • Surrounding trees and shrubs can cause septic tank drainage field problems. Root ingress damages the system’s structure and cause pipe blockages
  • Drainage field structure damaged by vehicles or heavy machinery travelling over the system. The surrounding soil or pipes can get compacted which will reduce its permeability
  • A drainage field needs to be at a depth where aerobic bacteria are present.  Any deeper than this, and the bacteria found tends to be anaerobic.  These can produce a black slimy substance that can block the drainage field and affect the permeability of the surrounding soil. Croft Drainage can supply aerobic septic systems in Lincolnshire, to suit your requirements.
Area of lawn damaged by failed drainage field

Failed drainage field

If you would like to discuss your drainage field problems, please contact us for an informal discussion. We cover Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.

Potential sewage treatment plant problems

There are many problems that may affect your sewage treatment plant, including:

  • Overloading causing effluent failure. Can be due to change of use (extensions built) or surface water entering the system
  • Failed blower or pump
  • Blocked pumps
  • High levels of fats, oils and greases overloading the plant
  • Insufficient retention time in the STP due to hydraulic overloading
  • Chemical overloading and inhibiting bacterial action in the STP
  • Poorly installed sewage treatment plant lifting out of the ground
  • Splits in the walls of the treatment plant
  • Damage caused by tree roots, ground movement or vehicles leading to the sewage treatment plant becoming displaced or damaged

Often the costs to repair these types of damages are covered by your buildings insurance policy. Contact Croft Drainage Solutions to discuss your problems and to see what we can do for you.


Areas we cover

Croft Drainage Solutions cover Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. We can advise you on all drainage problems. To discuss your issues further contact us for an informal chat.